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Crazy Quilt
Pieces of a Mennonite Life

Cynthia Yoder

Foreword by John L. Ruth


Summary: Twenty-six and grappling with depression, Cynthia Yoder leaves her husband of two years and their life in New York City to embark on a search for meaning that will take her to a rural hill in eastern Pennsylvania and back to her Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite roots. As she collects stories from her aging grandparents and hears how they’ve grappled with their own losses, the young author begins to understand what she needs to do to save herself—and her marriage. With its stories, diary entries, old photographs, and recipes, Crazy Quilt is as much about heritage as it is about the power of love that transcends human limits.

Comment: "An amazing journey of one young woman's coming to terms with the clashes between her heritage and her future ideal for herself. Yoder evokes life within her Mennonite culture with vividness and clarity. What makes her book so unusual is the way she turns her particular American past into a story that speaks to us all."
—Barbara Probst Solomon, Author, Smart Hearts in the City

"Crazy Quilt is like that good friend who dares to state the truth out loud—-and laugh with you about it. Yoder’s memoir is witty, whimsical, and a great read."
—Lee Eshleman, Actor/Writer/Co-owner, Ted & Lee TheaterWorks

"This book is written by one woman but is the story of all who have faced challenges. Here you will find courage and hope for your own life. I urge you to take Crazy Quilt home and read it."
—Joel Rothschild, Author, Signals and Hope

"A joyous, thoughtful exploration of faith, history, reinvention. Yoder defines forgiveness and maturity through a generous narrative of her grandparents’ timeline and her own life at a turning point."
—Gwendolen Gross, Author, Getting Out and Field Guide

"Yoder started healing when she broke out of her emotional solitary confinement and into the arms of her loving and supporting family. Hers is a path that others can follow."
—Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., Author, The Miracle of Magnesium

"Yoder shows that healing is not a linear path from ‘problem’ to ‘solution,—but an ever-deepening exploration of past and present, body and spirit, dependence and independence, fantasy and reality. We can all learn from her journey."
—Susan Piver, Author, The Hard Questions

"Here we have four stories woven as one: a quest for home; a memoir; the ‘romance’ of a grandparental couple; and the story of how their stories come together. Each thread has color and texture. . . .
John L. Ruth, Author of numerous books including The Earth Is the Lord’s: A Narrative History of Lancaster Mennonite Conference,
in the Foreword

Market: Anyone interested in a journey between subcultures and the griefs and joys of leaving and reentering not only a tradition but also a marriage.

Shelving: Autobiography; Memoir—religious, Anabaptist, Mennonite; Spiritual journey; Depression; Cultural History. BISAC: Autobiography. RTM: 170 Autobiography; 690 Religion/Ethics.

The Author: Cynthia Yoder’s work has appeared in national literary publications including Parabola, The Cortland Review, The Sarah Lawrence Review, and Mennonite Life. Yoder studied literature at Columbia University and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their son.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
Imprint: DreamSeeker Books
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Publication date: December 15, 2003 (copies available now)
Pages: 188
Format: 5.5 x 8.5 trade paper
Tentative Prices: $14.95 US, $22.95 Can.
ISBN: 1-931038-14-7


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Copyright 2003 by Cascadia Publishing House
publisher of DreamSeeker Books

10/17/03